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[kawr-puh-suh l, -puhs-uh l] /ˈkɔr pə səl, -pʌs əl/
Biology. an unattached cell, especially of a kind that floats freely, as a blood or lymph cell.
Anatomy. a small mass or body forming a more or less distinct part, as the sensory receptors at nerve terminals.
Physical Chemistry. a minute or elementary particle of matter, as an electron, proton, or atom.
any minute particle.
Also, corpuscule
[kawr-puhs-kyool] /kɔrˈpʌs kyul/ (Show IPA)
Origin of corpuscle
1650-60; < Latin corpusculum, equivalent to corpus body + -culum -cle1
Related forms
[kawr-puhs-kyuh-ler] /kɔrˈpʌs kyə lər/ (Show IPA),
[kawr-puhs-kyuh-ley-tid] /kɔrˈpʌs kyəˌleɪ tɪd/ (Show IPA),
corpusculous, adjective
[kawr-puhs-kyuh-lar-i-tee] /kɔrˌpʌs kyəˈlær ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
intercorpuscular, adjective
noncorpuscular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for corpuscular
Historical Examples
  • The very readiness with which we can picture the corpuscular scheme is a source of embarrassment to the seeker after unity.

    The Approach to Philosophy Ralph Barton Perry
  • I refer to the effect of an atomic and gravitative Aether upon Newton's corpuscular theory of light.

    Aether and Gravitation William George Hooper
  • This corpuscular theory of matter may throw light on the laws of chemical combination.

  • Arrived there, we may next suppose that they excite some new motions, or corpuscular changes.

  • In the corpuscular theory we have luminous particles emitted by luminous bodies.

    Aether and Gravitation William George Hooper
  • Three great scientific theories of the structure of the universe are the molecular, the corpuscular and the atomic.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • The corpuscular theory, which the famous Newton advocated, is long since abandoned.

    Quiet Talks on Power S.D. Gordon
  • The known influence of form is perfectly consistent with the corpuscular view of induction set forth.

  • Consider her twenty-four years, her corpuscular inheritance, the love of drama and the love of adventure.

    The Drums Of Jeopardy Harold MacGrath
  • Or can this adjective be applied to Newton's corpuscular theory of light, even though it has failed to explain all the facts?

    Logic Carveth Read
British Dictionary definitions for corpuscular


any cell or similar minute body that is suspended in a fluid, esp any of the red blood corpuscles (erythrocytes) or white blood corpuscles (see leucocytes) See also erythrocyte, leucocyte
(anatomy) the encapsulated ending of a sensory nerve
(physics) a discrete particle such as an electron, photon, ion, or atom
Also called corpuscule (kɔːˈpʌskjuːl). any minute particle
Derived Forms
corpuscular (kɔːˈpʌskjʊlə) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin corpusculum a little body, from corpus body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for corpuscular



1650s, "any small particle," from Latin corpusculum "a puny body; an atom, particle," diminutive of corpus "body" (see corporeal). First applied to blood cells 1845. Related: Corpuscular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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corpuscular in Medicine

corpuscle cor·pus·cle (kôr'pə-səl, -pŭs'əl)

  1. An unattached body cell, such as a blood or lymph cell.

  2. A rounded, globular mass of cells, such as the pressure receptor on certain nerve endings.

cor·pus'cu·lar (kôr-pŭs'kyə-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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corpuscular in Science
  1. Any of various cellular or small multicellular structures in the body, especially a red or white blood cell.

  2. See particle.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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